The eight brightly lighted columns that point into the sky at Bush Intercontinental Airport identify Houston as one of the most important international gateways in the world. On Dec. 17, with the help of Houston city council members, congressional representatives and members of the international community, the Light Spikes were once again illuminated. The Light Spikes have been at the airport since 1991, but after 17 years they needed to be restored. Originally, the restoration was supposed to change only the skins, but as the project got underway it was realized that the entire piece needed to be refurbished. The new columns have improved fluorescent lighting and have been strengthened with aluminum flex frames to withstand 130 mile per hour winds. The Light Spikes were created for the 1990 World Economic Summit of Industrial Nations (G-7), by local artist Jay Baker. They were originally on display in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. After the convention and because of their popularity they were temporarily moved to the airport. “It was never planned for the Light Spikes to become a permanent exhibit at the airport, but once they were here it was pretty evident that they fit in pretty well,” said Richard Vacar, director of the Houston Airport System. “When the Light Spikes were first installed in 1991, 17 international airlines landed at Bush, today we have 64 international airlines; we had only 2.6 million passengers, today we serve more than 43 million passengers; we handled 493 million pounds of cargo, today we move more than 791 million pounds of cargo; we had only 58 consulates in Houston, today we have 88 consulates and trade representative from a number of other countries,” said Vacar. The Light Spikes serve as an icon of IAH. The sculpture has eight spikes that are representative of the flags of the eight governments that participated in the summit, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy, France and the European Community. Each column leans at a 10-degree angle toward a central point representing Houston and the distance between each spike and this central point represents the distance between Houston and the capital of the country the spike represents. “Today, the Light Spikes remind us of our rapidly changing world where international commerce and travel are more important than ever for the prosperity of nations and great cities like Houston,” Vacar said. “All of us at the Houston Airport System are proud to be guardians of our City’s gateway to the world.” Cutline: After several months of restoration, the Light Spikes at Bush Intercontinental Airport once again illuminate the night sky. Photo by Bonnie McKenna

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location